WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org
Welcome to ArkivMusic, the retail store for Capital Public Radio!

Prokofiev: Symphonies No 1 "Classical" & 2 / Alsop


Release Date: 10/14/2014 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 573353   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Sergei Prokofiev
Conductor:  Marin Alsop
Orchestra/Ensemble:  São Paulo Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Low Stock: Currently 3 or fewer in stock. Usually ships in 24 hours, unless stock becomes depleted.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Marin Alsop’s Prokofiev cycle with the São Paulo Symphony began disappointingly with the Fifth, improved dramatically with the Fourth, and now hits its stride with the Second. Composed, allegedly, with “steel and iron,” or “fire and ice,” or “potassium chloride and sodium bicarbonate,” or whatever, I suspect this work would receive greater respect had it been written by Shostakovich, whose early idiom it somewhat resembles. The major difference is that Shostakovich had the great good fortune to be persecuted by Stalin for his youthful transgressions, while Prokofiev had the sense to get the hell out of Dodge and return much later, a “reformed” man.

Also, no one ever chastised Honegger for cribbing the opening of the
Read more first movement in his own “Liturgique” Symphony a couple of decades afterwards. The truth is that the music is really much less nasty than its reputation would suggest, and the first movement, while certainly noisy, actually contains a number of distinctive and appealing musical ideas. So, for that matter, does the concluding second movement, a theme followed by six highly inventive variations. Without minimizing the music’s violent energy, Alsop plays the piece with a vivid sense of its long melodic lines. The first movement, in particular, has plenty of excitement but also a certain lyrical emphasis that gives the music something to be excited about. It’s very convincing.

As for the Classical Symphony, well, just about everyone does it well, and while I can imagine a first movement with a touch more snap to its rhythms, the performance picks up steam as it goes, culminating in a delightfully crisp account of the finale. The early tone poem “Dreams” drifts about prettily for ten minutes, sounding like Debussy or Scriabin or basically anyone but Prokofiev. Does it deserve greater exposure? Perhaps not, but this lovely performance makes as strong a case for it as you might imagine possible. Vivid sonics make this the best release in this series so far.

– David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Symphony no 1 in D major, Op. 25 "Classical" by Sergei Prokofiev
Conductor:  Marin Alsop
Orchestra/Ensemble:  São Paulo Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1916-1917; Russia 
2.
Dreams, Op. 6 by Sergei Prokofiev
Conductor:  Marin Alsop
Orchestra/Ensemble:  São Paulo Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1910; Russia 
3.
Symphony no 2 in D minor, Op. 40 by Sergei Prokofiev
Conductor:  Marin Alsop
Orchestra/Ensemble:  São Paulo Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1924-1925; Paris, France 

Customer Reviews

Be the first to review this title
Review This Title